Super League: Hull FC 32-24 St Helens
|First Utility Super League|
|Hull FC (18) 32|
|Tries: Ellis, Fonua, Tuimavave, Taylor, Washbrook Goals: Sneyd 6|
|St Helens (14) 24|
|Tries: Swift, Lomax, Vea, Ashworth Goals: Owens 4|
Hull FC moved back to the top of the Super League table with victory against St Helens in an exciting game at the KCOM Stadium.
Gareth Ellis and Mahe Fonua went over for Hull early on but Adam Swift and Jonny Lomax put Saints back into it.
Atelea Vea gave Saints the lead at the break but Carlos Tuimavave put Hull back in front in the second half.
Jack Ashworth set up a tense finale to bring St Helens to 26-24 but Danny Washbrook earned Hull victory late on.
Lee Radford's men were given a scare by two Saints' fightbacks but sealed a 13th win in the Super League as Washbrook crossed in the 77th minute.
Meanwhile, St Helens slipped to a seventh league defeat of the season but remain in fifth place in the table.
After going 12-0 down early on, Keiron Cunningham's side turned the game around to lead 18-12 but Marc Sneyd scored a penalty just after the half-time hooter to cut the deficit.
That could have proved costly as Tuimavave and Scott Taylor combined to help Hull to an eight-point buffer in the second half, prior to Ashworth's try, but Hull fought back to ensure victory.
Hull FC coach Lee Radford:
"I've got to give credit to Saints for hanging in. I was expecting a tough game, they're a quality side. After 20 minutes, we had all the momentum but we didn't capitalise.
"I'm disappointed we didn't put more points on the board. We got giddy and pushed too many passes and almost got punished. To see them come back at the end and close the game out very pleasing. They're getting good at being in the grind.
"The derby [against Hull KR] naturally takes a lot out of you and I sensed the tiredness in training in the week so I'm happy we just had enough to get a result."
St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham:
"My players were outstanding and were hard done to. They should have got more out of that. The level of effort went through the roof. Hull are on the crest of a wave and we just fell a little bit short in certain areas.
"But we lost our seven in minute one and the penalties were 10-2 in the first half. If anyone says they were eight penalties cleaner than us, I'll call them a liar. We couldn't build any pressure in the first half.
"We definitely deserved something out of the game. It's a bitter pill to swallow. I'd told my players they should be proud of what they've done. We fought really hard for each other and, if we can bring that fight and resilience every week, we're not going to be far short."
Hull FC: Shaul, Naughton, Fonua, Yeaman, Talanoa, Tuimavave, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Watts, Minichiello, Manu, Ellis.
Replacements: Thompson, Hadley, Bowden, Washbrook.
St Helens: Lomax, Owens, Dawson, Turner, Swift, Fages, Walsh, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Roby, Amor, Wilkin, Vea, Knowles.
Replacements: Walmsley, Tasi, Richards, Ashworth.
Referee: G Hewer.